The Opinionated Gamers Prepare for Essen – Part 2

Dale Yu: OK, time to start reading about games for this year.  The Essen geeklist on BGG (thanks to fellow OG writer Eric Martin) is starting to flesh out a bit…

Right now, though it’s super early – here’s what I’m already eagerly anticipating (not having done any research yet):

  • Trains and Stations – WizKids Games – Eric Lang
  • New version of Cheaty Mages by AEG
  • Spyrium from William Attia
  • Rampage from Antoine Bauza
  • Bruxelles 1893 from Pearl Games
  • Artifact from White Goblin Games
  • Suburbia Inc from Ted and myself (thus, I’m biased somewhat towards it)
  • Glass Road – Uwe Rosenberg (trying to talk Filosofia into letting me get a peek at this early)
  • Kohle and Kolonie – hoping for a strong followup to the FFF game
  • Der Millionen Coup – Ravensburger?  Cooperative game about a bank robbery. At least it’s a novel theme!
  • Prosperity – Knizia/Ystari – I’ve already read the rules… Just awaiting the OK from Ystari to talk about it!
  • Futterneid – the candy game from 2F that I played at GoF…  I wonder if it will come with candy included
  • Rokoko – “deck-building, hand management, tile placing area control game”
  • Machi Koro – a city-builder coming from Japan. This will probably be the one Japanese game I focus on prior to the show.  Hopefully Tak-san will post the rules ahead of time like he did last year so I can learn more about them
  • Steam Park – IELLO – build your steampunk amusement park game. The graphics look awesome.
  • Sail to India – AEG – another mini Japanese game that AEG is bringing to the Western world.  It has big shoes to fill after Love Letter, but here’s to hoping
  • Renaissance Man – Anthony Rubbo/RGG – I should actually get this prior to Essen as it will be here domestically by september according to Jay… but until I have it, the game is on this list!

I think that I am logistically set now. Plane tickets acquired. Thanks to my medallion status, economy comfort is only an extra $49 for the overseas leg.  That extra 4-5 inches of legroom space PLUS the added few degrees of recline will probably be worth it… I mean, when you do the math, it only will cost me about $1 per legroom inch/hour.  What a bargain.

Lorna Wong: This will be my 8th trip Essen. I’ve worked the booth for two publishers over the years and also just gone as a tourist. It is interesting participating both ways.

This year I will work a booth again. I find the Spiel to be both exhilarating and exhausting. I think working while you are there is more exhausting but it is an interesting experience as well. I certainly have less time and energy to play any games while I’m there if I am working but you get to meet a lot of gamers when doing demos and sales. Because of that I try and do most of my purchasing homework before I leave. That usually means poring over  W. Eric Martin’s Spiel preview and scouring BGG and game publisher sites.

My Spiel checklist includes:

  • Mundane things like passport and a few Euros
  • Postal materials like tape and a sharpie
  • The all important luggage scale.
  • Booth T shirts
  • and The List!

The List is what I’m working on now.  Interestingly,  there seems to have been a shift from some publishers to more releases during the year. Seems like my list is shorter than usual. Of course, I’m a lot more picky than I used to be when getting new games.

W. Eric Martin

BoardGameGeek’s Spiel 2013 Preview has already been mentioned twice, so I should drop the link to it once again: As of mid-August 2013, this Preview barely tops 200 titles, while the Spiel 2012 Preview had more than 550. Clearly I have a lot to add before Spiel 2013 opens on October 24!

It seems that publishers are getting out information earlier than normal, a good thing for me since the workload in September and October typically drives me nutso but this early info is also likely good for them since they’ll have people interested now in seeing what’s coming later. If you issue a press release in, say, early October, you stand a good chance of being overlooked unless you’re an established publisher with a following. My in-box overflows at that time, leaving me barely able to keep up with such things – and most of the time I’m not even reading the rules for games! Instead I’m just skimming text and rules in order to write and edit game descriptions so that people can get an idea of whether they want to get through the effort of reading the rules.

Okay, back to work…

Jonathan Franklin: I have a game coming out at Essen 2013, Plunder from R&R Games!  I’ve been a few times, as a tourist, a reviewer, and as a booth helper.  I am on the fence about going this year, but this is my week to decide one way or the other.  I have enough miles to get a ticket on Delta or United, but have not tried to get a Seattle to Dusseldorf flight yet.  Still working on the hotel, but friends are staying at the Movenpick, so I’ll probably try to get in there.

Along with logistics of the hotel and flight, there is really not that much to ‘do’ for Essen 2013 other than work on the List and makes sure you have the ziplocs, Sharpies, etc that others have mentioned.

There is one major issue that *must* get done before Essen, but it is really related to Essen 2012.  I must comple my reviews of all the games that I got last year.  I keep a spreadsheet and know that I have six game reviews that must get done before I leave.  I deeply apologize to Runadrake (Turned & Why First), NSKN Legendary Games (Wild Fun West), Mucke-Spiele (Taschkent & Dahschur), and MESAgames (Kosmonauts).  Reviews of your games are forthcoming.  If you are not on that list and are expecting a review from me, please e-mail me and I’ll get right on it.

And now, back to the reviewing table.

More next week from us

Still to come this week on the blog – the conclusion of the 138 games series as well as a few reviews!

About Dale Yu

Dale Yu is the Editor of the Opinionated Gamers. He can occasionally be found working as a volunteer administrator for BoardGameGeek, and he previously wrote for BoardGame News.
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10 Responses to The Opinionated Gamers Prepare for Essen – Part 2

  1. Ted Alspach says:

    Dale: You’re missing Russian Railroads, which despite the cringe-worthy title, will be a must-have game from our buddies at HiG. It’s currently at the top of my list for Must-Have-Game-of-Essen.

    Lorna: I’m sure whatever booth you work at will be the best at Essen. :D

    Eric: I’ve noticed all the responsible publishers have already given you their info. ;)

    Jonathan: You should absolutely go. The R&R booth is right next to the Bezier Games (super double-sized) booth this year, and I need someone to keep Frank in check so he doesn’t scare off our customers.

  2. AED says:

    I will be going for my first time. Do you have a link to how the ticket system works for the event? Do you simply purchase a pass once you get there? Cheers!

  3. Dale Yu says:

    AED – you can just queue up to buy your ticket when you get there. There is a big rush for the first 2 hours on Thursday, but after that it seems manageable. I’ve read that there are places that you can buy tickets ahead of time (the German equivalent of Ticketmaster, I guess) – but I’ve never had to do that so I can’t offer any advice in that regard.

  4. Friedemann says:

    (But only in Essen with real food offered. If you want to play it later with real candy, buy it.)

  5. Mark Gerrits says:

    Dale: The Machi Koro rules are online at BGG

  6. Stefan Ebner says:

    First time for me as well, started preparing a list as well (more suited to my game group than my personal favorites) so I really enjoy these lists to see if I forgot something :)
    Bought my ticket straight from the official Spiel webpage and immediately received a printable pdf/pass.–times.html

  7. Steam Punk is a Cranio Creations games published also by Iello … I hope to have some news about it soon!

    good play

  8. of course it was “Steam Park” and not “Steam Punk”!!!


  9. Louisa says:

    AED -you can also get your tickets from the tourist office (opposite the train station) and some ticket booths in train stations, to avoid the q on the day

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